Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Vive la Gastronomie! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Vive-la-Gastronomie-_82757 The Cha&icirc;ne des R&ocirc;tisseurs Bailliage de la Jama&iuml;que ushered in anniversary number 31, Saturday last, with its annual induction of members at the u¨ber-opulent Moon Palace Jamaica Grande resort in the garden parish. Fourteen members were inducted.<br /> <br /> Our hosts for the evening were Clifton Reader, general manager; Diana Dominguez, food and beverage manager; Dennis McIntosh, executive chef; and Emilio Benavides, executive sous-chef.<br /> <br /> The black-tie affair commenced with cocktails at 6:00 pm followed by a ceremony for the induction of new members at 7:00 pm. Dinner followed promptly thereafter at 8:00 pm<br /> <br /> Members and guests were tantalised by a 10-course tasting menu with the theme being a fusion of Mexican and Jamaican cuisine with molecular gastronomy imported into the preparation and presentation of the courses that certainly blew our collective culinary minds. Every course was outstanding, starting with a Fresh Sorrel Taquito, Bulla & Pear (light avocado and mascarpone mousse with ginger bulla crumbles with tomato jam, moving through to three seafood courses with the savoury courses ending with a Short Rib Mole and the last three courses diving deeply into the realm of the delightfully sweet. The first sweet course was dubbed Sunny-Side Up &ndash; fresh coconut rum foam with a passion fruit yolk and pineapple br&ucirc;l&eacute;e presented and styled to perfectly replicate a fried egg sunny-side up. Brilliance! <br /> <br /> The wine pairings were outstanding, with the flight starting in the realm of white and segueing to red with the Arosa Limited-distributed Momentum Pinot Noir by Chevalier Robert Hoehener, which was served with the roasted red snapper.<br /> <br /> With an approximate ratio of 1.5 staff to each attendee, the service was impeccable.<br /> <br /> The evening ended with an invitation to enjoy a digestif at the Piano Bar.<br /> <br /> This was certainly one of the best and most memorable Cha&icirc;ne! events.<br /> <br /> Vive la Cha&icirc;ne! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13488111/245378_72161_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, December 08, 2016 3:00 AM Tarragon and Thyme http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Tarragon-and-Thyme_82688 Last Saturday, Delicious Occasions Cooking Classes and Young Chefs Cooking and Baking Club welcomed patrons to a one-night-only Tarragon and Thyme Gourmet Restaurant at 4 Millsborough Close. The event featured a three-course, 14-item menu prepared and served by the youngsters, under the critical eye of the award-winning Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel culinary staff. Part-proceeds will be donated to the Francene Children&rsquo;s Home Charity.<br /> <br /> Delicious Occasions Managing Director, Chef Latoya Panton expressed gratitude for the support received. &ldquo;On behalf of each child that will benefit from the proceeds of the restaurant this evening, I thank you. I would like to not only give thanks to our sponsors, but also the parents who have entrusted me and my team with their children each week in the kitchen. I have been taught so much by your young chefs and have tasted some of the best foods which they have prepared with so much love,&rdquo;she said.<br /> <br /> Post-formalities, the evening&rsquo;s guests and the young chefs&rsquo; families enjoyed a diverse menu that included crayfish thermidor and falafels, seafood bouillabaisse, grilled beef medallion, vanilla bean cr&egrave;me br&ucirc;l&eacute;e and berry cream crepes. Each meal was carefully plated to display the excellence that the club represents. Thursday Life gives you a bite. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13488072/245276_72129_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, December 08, 2016 12:00 AM Thursday Night at G&rsquo;s http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Thursday-Night-at-G-s_82760 Thursday Life had a recent craving for sushi, so off we went to G&rsquo;s Sports Bar & Grill, our little food temple inside Mosino Gaming Lounge in Montego Bay, where sushi chef Alex Simpson skillfully rolls right before your very eyes. Chopsticks at-the-ready, let&rsquo;s go!<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13488064/245404_72104_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, December 08, 2016 3:00 AM Deciding what http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Deciding-what_82773 We have just over two weeks before Christmas Day, and the seasonal events have begun. I regularly get requests for assistance with selecting wines for parties and get-togethers, so to make a good recommendation for type and quantity of wine, I usually have four primary questions.<br /> <br /> The 4 main questions<br /> <br /> Question 1 &mdash; How many persons will be attending (are most of them wine drinkers or not)?<br /> <br /> One regular 750ml bottle of wine can pour five to six glasses. If wine is the only drink, then factoring one bottle per guest is recommended, with 2:1 red/white ratio. If you will have a full bar and you will not have a crowd of wine drinkers, then 1 mixed 12-bottle case for every 30 persons will work.<br /> <br /> Question 2 &mdash; What is the budget per bottle or for all of the wines?<br /> <br /> I don&rsquo;t know why some people get offended by this budget question, but it&rsquo;s important to get an idea of how you are willing to spend on wine. Wines in Jamaica are available at a very wide price range from J$600 to J$400,000 per bottle &mdash; yes, 400k, that is not a typo! The wine budget for entertaining 500 persons is usually a lot different from a dinner party of 14 persons. For me, a happy place to be is in the region of $J2,000 - $J4,000 per bottle because there is a much larger selection of excellent wines. I pause when I get a request for excellent wines at J$1,200 per bottle &mdash; that does not compute; &lsquo;OK&rsquo;, drinkable wines yes, excellent wines at that price &mdash; NO!<br /> <br /> Question 3 &mdash; What type of event is it (dinner or cocktail party; time, and for how long)?<br /> <br /> Guests tend to consume more wine when they are standing or walking around versus when they are sitting, so factor three to four glasses per guest for a typical stand-around cocktail party lasting three - four hours in the evening. The earlier the event the less people will consume &mdash; unless we are having a beach or pool party for the day. Persons come to mix and mingle and most are not too concerned about what wine they are drinking as long as it tastes good, so don&rsquo;t break the bank for fancy wine; on the flip side don&rsquo;t go with the cheapest product on the market either. A wine-tasting dinner requires different maths and a completely different discussion. <br /> <br /> Question 4 &mdash; What food is being served? <br /> <br /> The wine provider needs to know what the menu will be to ensure that the wine and food do not clash &mdash; remember, peppery dishes & sweet food are the enemy of most wines. The very basic idea is that the wine and the food should not overpower each other. To do it properly one should compare the flavour and intensity of the food to the flavour and intensity of the wine. The more powerful and flavourful the food, the greater the flavour and intensity the wine should be. <br /> <br /> The style of wine to buy<br /> <br /> For most cocktail parties, I suggest three wines; a sweet-ish light-bodied white wine, a light- to medium-bodied crispy white wine and a light-bodied and a light- to medium-bodied red wine. Examples of light- to medium-bodied crisp, fresh dry white wines are: Italian Whites, Muscadet, Chenin Blanc, Orvieto, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio. These wines are usually food-friendly. Light-medium fruity reds to choose from are: Beaujolais, Valpolicella, Bourgogne Rouge and most Pinot Noirs, Unoaked Merlot, and young Tempranillo. These wines are usually food-friendly. For the sweet wine lovers, choose Moscato, German-style Riesling or White Zinfandel.<br /> <br /> Wine is a living liquid containing no preservatives. Its life cycle comprises youth, maturity, old age, and death. When not treated with reasonable respect, it will sicken and die. &mdash; Julia Child<br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13463081/243424_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, December 08, 2016 3:00 AM Recipe Corner... Asian Glazed Ribs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Recipe-Corner----Asian-Glazed-Ribs_82721 Spare ribs or Baby Back Ribs<br /> <br /> Marinade Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1cup soy sauce<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup chicken stock (reserved for the cooking step)<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup brown sugar<br /> <br /> 3 tsp five-spice powder<br /> <br /> 3 tbsp sesame oil<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger<br /> <br /> 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped<br /> <br /> 1 tsp cayenne pepper<br /> <br /> Glaze Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup hoisin sauce<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup soy sauce<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (optional)<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp brown sugar<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp honey (optional)<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Set oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine marinade ingredients (except chicken stock) in a bowl and whisk together.<br /> <br /> In a medium-sized roasting pan place ribs meat side up and sprinkle lightly with salt, then pour marinade all over. Try to cover all of the meat by using the fingers to spread as necessary.<br /> <br /> Turn ribs meat side down, add chicken stock and cover roasting pan tightly with foil.<br /> <br /> Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours (time may vary depending on meat quality) or until tender and meat has shrunk back off the bone by 1 inch.<br /> <br /> When cooked, drain and transfer ribs to a baking sheet or broiler pan; set oven to broil setting and move oven shelf up leaving 5-7 inches of space between top burner and baking sheet.<br /> <br /> Brush ribs with Asian glaze then put under broiler until nicely brown and sticky; 4-6 minutes turn over and repeat glazing process.<br /> <br /> Cut ribs to serving size then brush with remaining glaze (heated on stove or microwave) then sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped escallions (green tops only). Serve immediately.<br /> <br /> Chef&rsquo;s Tip<br /> <br /> Ribs can be covered and allowed to marinate for 4 to 24 hours in refrigerator after first step to maximise flavour. <br /> <br /> Bacon Jam Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 2lbs streaky bacon cut in squares<br /> <br /> 1tbsp sea salt or salt to your taste<br /> <br /> 2lbs onions<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp tomato paste<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup brown sugar<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup malt vinegar<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup Pickapeppa sauce<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Saute onions and bacon until onions are translucent and bacon fat is rendered.<br /> <br /> Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes until ingredients are well-integrated.<br /> <br /> Allow mixture to cool slightly and spoon into the bowl of a food processor, then pulse food processor at 5-second intervals until mixture is finely chopped, with pieces about the size of uncooked rice.<br /> <br /> Store mixture refrigerated in an airtight glass container. Use as a condiment for sandwiches, burgers or just a simple side for your pancake and eggs.<br /> <br /> Crispy Pork Belly<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 5 lbs skin on fresh pork belly<br /> <br /> 4 tbsp sea salt<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp pimento powder<br /> <br /> Seasoning paste<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 2 cups chopped escallion<br /> <br /> 1/2 cup soy sauce <br /> <br /> 1 head garlic<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp fresh ginger<br /> <br /> 1 tsp cinnamon powder<br /> <br /> 2 tbsp brown sugar<br /> <br /> 1 tbsp sea salt<br /> <br /> 1 bottle Red Stripe beer (make sure it&rsquo;s ice- cold so that you can drink half and reserve half for the cooking step)<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Combine paste ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until a paste forms and all ingredients are properly blended. <br /> <br /> Wash pork belly with water and pat dry. Rub salt and pimento all over the flesh and skin side (this step aids in preparing skin for later crisping); do not cut skin for seasoning.<br /> <br /> Rub seasoning paste all over the flesh side of the pork belly, avoiding too much marinade on the skin side. Allow to rest for 4 hours or overnight for best results.<br /> <br /> Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.<br /> <br /> Place pork belly skin side up in a large roasting pan at least 2 inches deep (a hotel pan works best). Pour reserved Red Stripe beer in pan; try to avoid washing off the salted skin when pouring the beer.<br /> <br /> Cover pan tightly with foil paper, making sure it is as airtight as possible. Place pan in lower half of oven and roast for approximately one hour and forty-five minutes. <br /> <br /> When properly cooked, the skin and meat should be very tender, and the skin will be translucent and can be easily pierced with a fork.<br /> <br /> Carefully drain cooking liquid, then use a small knife to make small cuts all over the skin ,this will allow fat to drain away while the skin is crisping up.<br /> <br /> Turn oven to broil or top element heat only and place pan about 10 to 12 inches below broiler and cook until skin starts to develop colour, bubble up and pop periodically. If some parts start to colour up too quickly, just cover those areas with loose foil and keep broiling until skin is uniformly crispy and sounds solid when tapped with a knife.<br /> <br /> Allow pork to rest for 20 minutes, then chop into bite-size portions for service. <br /> <br /> Escoveitch pickle is a great condiment for this dish. Enjoy!<br /> <br /> Easy Pop Corn Pone Muffin<br /> <br /> Single batch<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 1 can whole kernel corn<br /> <br /> 1 can cream style corn<br /> <br /> 2 cups freshly popped popcorn<br /> <br /> 1 stick butter<br /> <br /> 8 oz sour cream<br /> <br /> 1 pack Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (premixed based on instructions)<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 9 x 9 baking dish or scoop into greased muffin tins.<br /> <br /> Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 45-60 minutes until golden brown on top. Bake for 22-25 minutes if using muffin pans. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13488056/245323_72078_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, December 08, 2016 3:00 AM FLOW Applauds Cumberland High School http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/FLOW-Applauds-Cumberland-High-School_81636 &ldquo;Where you are now and the grades you are getting do not determine where you are destined to be,&rdquo; FLOW Jamaica Managing Director Garfield Sinclair told the students of Cumberland High School at the final sitting of the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s 2016 Applaud It! initiative last Thursday afternoon. Inside the Devonshire at Devon House, accompanied by executive members of his team and the FLOW Foundation, Sinclair told the students to never allow anyone or anything to deter them from their dreams. Sinclair, in-between courses, moved effortlessly around the table asking the students about their career goals, eliciting smiles as he told of his school days, of &lsquo;skulling&rsquo; school to watch Kung Fu movies, of being caned and being a less-than-average student. &ldquo;That is where I was then... this is where I am now! The key is maintaining your passion and never giving up, despite the fact that you might not be getting the best grades, or that you might not be the best student; this is not your destiny!&rdquo; His candour hit home.<br /> <br /> It was the perfect end to an initiative that has captured the imagination of corporate Jamaica and allowed award-winning caterers like Jacqui Tyson to introduce palates to the not-so-typical. Tyson&rsquo;s four-course affair, aimed to showcase the familiar in &mdash; for quite a few &mdash; a not-so-familiar setting. This began with what was dubbed the St Elizabeth Delight, a fajita triangle kissed with an espresso of creamy pumpkin soup. A Weakness for Sweetness followed &mdash; crunchy fish sticks on a chiffonade of lettuce drizzled with Tyson&rsquo;s signature sweet and sour sauce. An homage was paid to host FLOW with Let it Flow, a new take on mac & cheese, which featured tossed fusilli with melting cheeses, golden breadcrumbs and stuffed chicken medallions.<br /> <br /> The dessert was a show-stopper aptly labelled Cumberland Surprise &mdash; a deconstructed ice cream cake &mdash; with pound cake, warm chocolate, whole cherries, strawberries, caramel amidst fresh whipped cream and Devon House ice cream finished with an Oreo crunch in Martini glasses.<br /> <br /> Lunch hit an even sweeter note when surprise guest, international dancehall entertainer Jeffrey &lsquo;Agent Sasco&rsquo; Campbell shared his childhood as an exemplar. &ldquo;A lot of people look at me and think that I&rsquo;m well off, and that I just got here without any work. I lived in a board house and had very little... My only dream back then was to live in Mona, have cable and a car, simply because that was what I knew as luxury,&rdquo; he said. Campbell charged the students to dream big, chart their own journey and stay dedicated and focused on the path they choose to success.<br /> <br /> There was more, a presentation of a cheque for $100,000 to the school&rsquo;s principal Michael Brydson by the FLOW Foundation, to aid in improving the school&rsquo;s security system. In his response principal Brydson expressed gratitude to the afternoon&rsquo;s hosts. &ldquo;I really have to say a huge thank you to the FLOW Foundation, to Novia McDonald-Whyte, and the Jamaica Observer. This initiative will go a far way in fashioning these students in becoming ladies and gentlemen.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Applaud It! now, a two-week-long luncheon series, provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through social and dining skills. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13457946/243338_69762_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, December 01, 2016 12:00 AM TASTE OF TRYALL: Out of Many, One Cuisine http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/TASTE-OF-TRYALL--Out-of-Many--One-Cuisine_82010 The manicured lawns of the luxurious Tryall Club in Hanover were transformed Friday last, November 25, into an exquisite culinary enclave as part of the Taste of Tryall.<br /> <br /> The annual culinary celebration, now in its seventh year, requested of its chefs the creation of dishes under the theme &lsquo;Out of Many, One Cuisine&rsquo;. More than 50 of Tryall&rsquo;s villa chefs accepted the challenge. A wide range of dishes incorporating cultural elements of Greek, Asian, Italian and American were infused with a distinctly Jamaican flavour.<br /> <br /> The event saw patrons sampling reimagined creative takes on fusions and pairings - avocado and plantain salsa on sweet potato croutons, scallops wrapped with bacon, stuffed tenderloin with bacon and spinach, Asian barbecued chicken drummets, tandoori chicken with basmati rice, curried dal and roti, and much more. Watering holes from Appleton and Red Stripe serving cocktails to complement the fare made the evening that much more appealing.<br /> <br /> Although one could easily get lost in the culinary side of this event, the event&rsquo;s raison d&rsquo;etre is to raise much-needed donations for the Tryall Fund. The fund&rsquo;s charitable donations are geared towards improving education and health in the parish of Hanover. Funds raised over the years have contributed to the &lsquo;Success by Six&rsquo; project, which supports early childhood education (3-5 years old) throughout the parish of Hanover. The project focuses on areas of developmental assessment, computer literacy, intensive teacher training and nutritional programmes for basic schools in the parish.<br /> <br /> The fund also supports a scholarship programme for preparatory to university students and has disbursed over J$7 million in grants and a dental mission that provides free dental care to basic and primary school children as well as adults. This past summer, over 60 scholarships were awarded under the programme, while 720 persons benefited from the dental mission.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The event was successful; we were able to raise a large part of our goal of US$200,000, especially from our live auction and pledges. We are embarking on a new project, to start a music and arts programme in basic schools. This is a need we have identified and the funds will be used to implement this project. We are extremely proud to have been able to raise funds to assist the parish in areas of health and education and we are looking forward to doing even more,&rdquo; stated Paula Kovinsky, president, Tryall Fund. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13470321/244072_70754_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, December 01, 2016 12:00 AM Supreme Ventures Applauds the Men of Jamaica College http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Supreme-Ventures-Applauds-the-Men-of-Jamaica-College_81385 Tuesday, November 29, was memorable for 10 Jamaica College students, all members of the highly-acclaimed robotics club, who participated in a working luncheon which was hosted by Ian Levy, deputy chairman of Supreme Ventures, and four members of the company&rsquo;s executive. The boys made full use of the three-hour face-to-face, which began with Levy explaining how fortunate they were to be at the school. &ldquo;The fact that you attend JC,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;puts you ahead of everyone else. Why? Because we were taught that we were leaders, we were lectured more than we were taught so we always believed that we were going to be somebody.&rdquo; Levy continued, &ldquo;Going to school then and now is much different, but there are still a lot of opportunities particularly available for Jamaica College students. I want to encourage you to stay in Jamaica, and think of this island as your future.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> The luncheon, handled by Patsy Lyn Caterers, was another successful sitting of the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s Applaud It! which, due to overwhelming demand, is now a two-week-long initiative that provides a unique opportunity for Jamaica&rsquo;s corporate pathfinders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through social and dining skills.<br /> <br /> And this Supreme Ventures did, over a hearty bowl of corn chowder. The future leaders gained insight into the early days of the company. &ldquo;We started something no one thought about,&rdquo; said Levy. &ldquo;We were not first. Indeed, the Jamaica Lottery Company was around, but had a limited amount of outlets; so what we did was flood the island with outlets.&rdquo; The moral of the story &mdash; &ldquo;to become visionaries and to think differently. &ldquo;Not because something is not being done, doesn&rsquo;t mean it can&rsquo;t be done,&rdquo; Levy stressed. <br /> <br /> This was further underscored over the entr&Atilde;&copy;e &mdash; Chinese stir-fried rice, Chinese roast chicken, sweet and sour fish and crispy roast pork&mdash; by Lance Thomas, VP of Finance, who used the example of the blue and red strategy to illustrate the concept :&rdquo;The blue strategy represents unchartered waters, where you think outside of the box and there are little to no competitors in the game. The red strategy, however, are the industries where there&rsquo;s a lot of fighting going on for everyone to get to the top.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Brando Hayden, VP of Strategy, highlighted the island&rsquo;s potential. &ldquo;We have a really huge brand coupled with a tremendous amount of talent which continues to be exported across the world. The key is really working hard at what you do and trying to be your best. Think big! Don&rsquo;t limit yourself or be confined to borders. Everything is at your fingertips; your smartphone offers you access to markets anywhere in the world.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> During dessert &mdash; the moistest of carrot cakes &mdash; Jason Hall, VP of Marketing, left the boys with homework. &ldquo;Goal setting is the single most important thing. Do a regret analysis of where you don&rsquo;t want to be. You have to learn to be disciplined and committed to your vision. Life is full of challenges, and no matter how badly off you think you are, there&rsquo;s always someone better and worse off than you.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Even after a hearty three-course meal heaped with inspiration; the young men craved more and sought out the executives for one-on-one advice.<br /> <br /> Mission accomplished! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13470220/242761_70683_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, December 01, 2016 12:00 AM &rsquo;Tis the season http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/-Tis-the-season_81899 Some call it the silly season; some call it the happiest time of the year. Some paraphrase Shakespeare; referring to the season as &lsquo;the best of times and the worst of times&rsquo;. Call it whatever you want, the Christmas season is upon us, bringing with it all the emotions, entertainment and extra pounds.<br /> <br /> Challenging wine choices &mdash; Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner<br /> <br /> Is it that Jamaicans living here with no ties to the USA look for any reason to celebrate and eat food? I continue to be surprised by the number of &lsquo;born here, live here&rsquo; folks celebrating the US Thanksgiving holiday; is it the influence of US cable TV? Maybe it is the many &lsquo;Jamerican&rsquo; returning residents and US-based friends and family visiting &mdash; this discussion continues. More interestingly, however, is which wines to pour?<br /> <br /> Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners pose the very same challenge &mdash; so many flavours on the table at the same time, so the wine choice will depend on your attempt at a perfect pairing. This year I had Thanksgiving dinner with my Jamaican/Haitian family in South Florida, and the dinner consisted of the traditional American Thanksgiving fare in addition to some Haitian black rice and Jamaican oxtail. I wanted to see what the boutique wine store attendant would suggest after I explained about the spiciness and richness of the food. To my surprise he offered me a rich, powerful Cabernet from Napa Valley. I stared wide-eyed at the guy and said, &ldquo;No thank you, sir, this will clash. I need something massively food- friendly, very fruit-forward with soft tannins. Where is your blend section?&rdquo; <br /> <br /> After a quick glance, I selected something that I have never seen or tasted before: a 2013 McBride Sisters Truv&Atilde;&copy;e Red Blend. This spicy velvety C&Atilde;&acute;tes du Rh&Atilde;&acute;ne Village style wine is from Central Coast, California. This blend is made from seven varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. Everyone who tasted it loved it, as it went well with the vast array of flavours on this international dining table. Christmas and Thanksgiving are never the times to pull out your best wines; always go for the generic crowd-pleasers, especially if the group&rsquo;s wine appreciation level is all over the map.<br /> <br /> Salut! Wine and Champagne - A missed opportunity for some<br /> <br /> With approximately 13 wine importers in Jamaica, only four took part in this year&rsquo;s Salut! This suggests a major missed opportunity to expose the market to new offerings or to remind the wine-drinking public what&rsquo;s hot in your portfolio. <br /> <br /> CPJ poured Taittinger at Cellar 8<br /> <br /> Last week got off to a celebratory start, with CPJ reminding us all how delicious Taittinger Champagne is. On offer was Taittinger Brut R&Atilde;&copy;serve, Taittinger Prestige Ros&Atilde;&copy; and Taittinger Brut Mill&Atilde;&copy;sim&Atilde;&copy; 2008. <br /> <br /> Taittinger Brut R&Atilde;&copy;serve is a blend of Chardonnay (40%) and Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (60%) wines. Tasting notes: The brilliant body is golden yellow in colour. The bubbles are fine, while the foam is discreet yet lingering. The nose, very open and expressive, delivers aromas of fruit and brioche. It also gives off the fragrance of peach, white flowers (hawthorn, acacia) and vanilla pod. The entry onto the palate is lively,<br /> <br /> fresh and in total harmony. This is a delicate wine with flavours of fresh fruit and honey.<br /> <br /> Taittinger Prestige Ros&Atilde;&copy; tasting notes: The intense and brilliant body is bright pink in colour. The bubbles are fine, and the mousse persistent. The full nose, wonderfully expressive, is both fresh and young. It gives off aromas of red fruits (freshly crushed wild raspberry, cherry, blackcurrant). On the palate, this wine strikes a fine balance of a velvet texture and full body taste. The flavours are reminiscent of fresh, crisp red fruits. The palate can be summed up in four words: lively, fruity, fresh, and elegant, as only a ros&Atilde;&copy; blend can be.<br /> <br /> Taittinger Brut Mill&Atilde;&copy;sim&Atilde;&copy; 2008 is exclusively blended from first press wines. It consists of Chardonnay (50%) and Pinot Noir (50%). The 2008 vintage has produced wines characterised by freshness and vivacity, with a perfectly integrated acidity that suggests they will age very well. Intense and mineral, the nose combines floral and citrus notes (lemon and grapefruit). On the palate, fruit, vinosity and richness predominate.<br /> <br /> In the upcoming weeks we will look at wine suggestions for the season and wine discoveries from Salut! <br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13453243/242429_69008_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, December 01, 2016 3:00 AM FLOW Applauds Cumberland High School http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/FLOW-Applauds-Cumberland-High-School_81598 &ldquo;Where you are now, and the grades you are getting, do not determine where you are destined to be,&rdquo; FLOW Jamaica Managing Director Garfield Sinclair told the students of Cumberland High School at yesterday&rsquo;s final sitting of the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s 2016 Applaud it! initiative. Inside the Devonshire at Devon House, accompanied by executive members of his team and the FLOW Foundation, Sinclair told the students &ldquo;to never allow anyone or anything to deter them from their dreams&rdquo;. Sinclair, in-between courses, moved effortlessly around the table asking the students about their career goals, eliciting smiles as he told of his school days, of skulling school to watch Kung Fu movies, of being caned and of being a less-than-average student. &ldquo;That is where I was then... this is where I am now! His candour hit home. <br /> <br /> It was the perfect end to an initiative that has captured the imagination of corporate Jamaica and allowed award-winning caterers like Jacqui Tyson to introduce the palates to the not-so-typical. Tyson&rsquo;s four-course affair &mdash; see more in next week&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Thursday Life &mdash; demonstrated her culinary prowess. Lunch hit an even sweeter note when surprise guest, dancehall entertainer Jeffrey &lsquo;Agent Sasco&rsquo; Campbell shared his childhood as an exemplar. &ldquo;A lot of people look at me and think that I&rsquo;m well off, and that I just got here without any work. I lived in a board house and had very little... I remember being in high school a long time ago, a lot of the things I have now, I didn&rsquo;t even dream about then.&rdquo; Campbell&rsquo;s session ended with homework: to chart their own journey and stay dedicated and focused on the path they choose to success. There was more a presentation of a cheque for $100,000 to the school&rsquo;s principal Michael Brydson by the FLOW Foundation, to aid in improving the school&rsquo;s security system. <br /> <br /> The Applaud It! now, a two-week-long luncheon series, provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through social and dining skills. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13457946/243338_69762_repro_w300.jpg Local News Friday, November 25, 2016 12:00 AM Opa&rsquo;s Salut (Yia Sou)! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Opa-s-Salut-Yia-Sou_81481 The Jamaica Observer week-long celebration of wines and champagne continued Wednesday evening at Opa! with, you guessed it, Greek wines. Indeed, the festivities were taken up several notches as the establishment itself was celebrating birthday number three. Opa! Greek Restaurant and Santorini Skylounge proprietor Alexx Antaeus and his co-director Orlease King were the consummate hosts, ensuring not only that wine flowed all evening long but that they seized the opportunity to pair new menu options with each bottle of wine. The evening&rsquo;s first bottle was, in the words of Antaeus, &ldquo;My big fat Greek wine &mdash; Savatiano&rdquo;: a dry white wine paired with an ackee slider. This was followed by Lafkioti Nemea, a dry red served with Opa&rsquo;s lamb burger. Hummus and pita bread and Opa&rsquo;s caramelised onion, bacon and feta cheese pizza were additional offerings ahead of dessert &mdash; Opa&rsquo;s signature carrot cake with a shot of Mavrodaphne de Patras. <br /> <br /> The bonhomie was felt throughout as guests clinked glasses, made new acquaintances, congratulated Antaeus and King on their successful venture and looked ahead to Thanksgiving and yuletide celebrations.<br /> <br /> Friday Social thanks Antaeus for his generous words for the Jamaica Observer and especially for the 1986 Chateau Lafite Rothschild which was accepted by the company&rsquo;s Senior Associate Editor &mdash; Lifestyle & Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte.<br /> <br /> Salut! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13457870/243136_w300.jpg Local News Friday, November 25, 2016 3:00 AM Vine in Partners http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Vine-in-Partners_81512 Another Wednesday night, another reason to Salut! The Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s week-long wine-appreciation festivities found wine lovers at the Regency Bar & Lounge at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel. The early birds caught the waiter, who served the Tito&rsquo;s Breeze welcome cocktail &ndash; a sweet and tangy concoction with the Betco-distributed Tito&rsquo;s Homemade Vodka as its base.<br /> <br /> Within minutes, the captain of the ship, Betco Premier Limited Managing Director Sharon Graham was guiding guests through New Zealand, Australia and the Napa Valley by way of six wines from the Betco vault. The first pour was the Matua Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand&rsquo;s very first Sauvignon Blanc, which boasts classic regional flavours from pears to pineapples, and was paired with skewered chicken ribbons. In addition, those familiar rekindled, while those unaware enjoyed the flavours of the Beringer Founders&rsquo; Estate varietals.<br /> <br /> Since introducing 19 Crimes red to the market late last summer, the demand for the red has only increased. No surprise, then, that the sixth and final pairing, 19 Crimes red with an array of mint, rum and raisin, and dark chocolate truffles, was extremely well received. <br /> <br /> Friday Social takes bets on Betco! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13457746/243184_w300.jpg Local News Friday, November 25, 2016 12:00 AM Cayman Table Talk: Fare Discourse http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Cayman-Table-Talk--Fare-Discourse_80927 Following a most successful inaugural staging, the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards, The Cayman Islands edition presented by The Best Dressed Chicken , returned on Thursday, November 10, to The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort for its second iteration. This time around was definitely the charm! Guests were met on arrival with flutes of Champagne and indulged in melt-in-your-mouth hors d&rsquo;oeuvres &mdash; a foretaste of the culinary offerings to come. The cocktail hour over, it was now time to step on the red carpet and slip into seats for the awards presentation. <br /> <br /> Cayman Islands Food Awards chief judge Catherine Guilbard &mdash; who was among the speakers of the evening &mdash; elicited nostalgia as she took guests down memory lane, harking back to the early days of the restaurant industry on the island. There were nods of agreement at the mention of Cayman Island&rsquo;s first upscale restaurant, notably Grand Old House.<br /> <br /> The final award presented, it was now time for the after-party, which was held at the Verandah beach house. Here guests enjoyed fare from The Brasserie, Tukka Restaurant and Bar, Welly&rsquo;s Cool Spot Restaurant and Bar, celebrated Jamaican chef Jaqui Tyson for the Best Dressed Chicken, Peppers Smokehouse, and menu selections from The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.<br /> <br /> The yellowfin tuna poke and chicken liver p&acirc;t&eacute; from The Brasserie &ndash; multi-Table-Talk-Food-award-winning restaurant &ndash; was delish. For Welly&rsquo;s Cool Spot Restaurant and Bar, the helpings of their traditional curried goat could not suffice. The flavour combinations of the pepperwood-roasted chicken and pork from Peppers Smokehouse, as well as their signature succulent pork ribs, tantalised the taste buds.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life shares foodie highlights of another successful Table Talk Food Awards.<br /> <br /> (Photos: Garfield Robinson)<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13455681/241893_69428_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, November 24, 2016 12:00 AM Applauding Success http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Applauding-Success_80694 No goals were scored on Wednesday, November, 16 by the Harbour View Football Club&rsquo;s (HVFC) Under 13 and 15 Pay As You Go KSAFA Champions 2016, inside the boardroom of the Jamaica Public Service corporate offices. There were, however, goals of another kind &mdash; life lessons imparted by Jamaica Public Service&rsquo;s President and CEO Kelly Tomblin. <br /> <br /> The occasion was the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s Applaud It! which is a week-long luncheon series that provides an opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through a unique experience that exposes them to social and dining skills.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of the reasons we have you here today is because we want to talk to you about reimagining your power,&rdquo; explained Tomblin. &ldquo;A part of our mission for the reimagine campaign,&rdquo; she continued, &ldquo;is to not only enable a big, bold vision for JPS but to help create big, bold visions for you. Because you have to realise the height of your potential and understand that where you are now has nothing to do with where you are going.&rdquo; To further underscore the point, Tomblin shared with the boys her own childhood experience of growing up the daughter of a coal miner but not being limited by her circumstances and that through hard work and determination she secured a sound education and has not looked back. <br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer Senior Associate Editor &mdash; Lifestyle & Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte lauded the company&rsquo;s initiative &mdash; explaining to the boys the importance of opening their minds to new things and underscoring the edge that the knowledge of social etiquette affords an athlete. <br /> <br /> Nutritionist Dr Joy Callender spoke to the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and gave insight into a balanced diet which proved a veritable eye-opener ahead of award-winning culinary artist Oji Jaja&rsquo;s introduction to his well-thought-out menu &mdash; smoked duck carpaccio appetiser and a main of Chilean sea bass atop saffron sweet yam puree with asparagus spears, sweet corn and grape tomatoes artfully placed.<br /> <br /> P&Atilde;&cent;tissier Nadine Burie&rsquo;s lemon basil tart brought smiles to the faces of all. There was more &mdash; smoothies blended on spot by Clean Treats CEO Martina Christian. The words of Dr Callender came to the fore &mdash; &ldquo;if you don&rsquo;t like to eat vegetables, drink them.&rdquo; And this the boys did &mdash; the experience made that much more pleasureable by the JPS Mason jars.<br /> <br /> The afternoon&rsquo;s final words would come from Clyde Jureidini, general manager of the HVFC. &ldquo;The Harbour View Football Club Under 13 and 15 Pay As You Go KSAFA Champions 2016 would like to say a sincere &lsquo;thank you&rsquo; for the wonderful experience afforded to our youngsters, coaches and managers at your headquarters.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Reimagining our horizons through an open mind will take us into a brighter day with the positive energy that was palpable in the room.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13455593/241464_69307_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, November 24, 2016 12:00 AM Rainforest Seafoods applauds Iris Gelly Primary http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Rainforest-Seafoods-applauds-Iris-Gelly-Primary_81050 It was a delightful afternoon last Friday for 15 students of Iris Gelly Primary School at the Rainforest Seafoods headquarters. They made their way along the red carpet to the boardroom where they found their name cards and individual menus at a festively decorated table. Their hosts were senior executives at Rainforest Seafoods, helmed by CEO Brian Jardim. The four-course lunch created by Rainforest Seafoods Corporate Chef Everol Ebanks took the children on a formal culinary adventure &mdash; from soup to dessert &mdash; affording the team the opportunity to participate once again in the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s Applaud It! &mdash; a week-long initiative that provides a unique opportunity for Jamaica&rsquo;s corporate pathfinders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through social and dining skills.<br /> <br /> Jardim expressed his delight in welcoming the bright young minds to the boardroom. &ldquo; In our boardroom, we host a lot of important meetings and people. It is a lovely setting, but when it is dressed up like this, with all these bright young minds, it really gives it value. It&rsquo;s probably the best use for it,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> Jardim further engaged the students with a recount of his recent visit to Belize, where the company had just opened a new fish plant, before sharing how the company started. &ldquo;We started Rainforest Seafoods 20 years ago and are now in 12 or 13 islands in the Caribbean. We sell to Asia, Singapore, Taiwan and also to Europe, so a big part of what we do is export.&rdquo; The CEO engaged the students exactly where they were and addressed them as he would have his peers. &ldquo;We manufacture burgers for Burger King,&rdquo; he continued, &ldquo;fish for Tastee as well as Wendy&rsquo;s so we&rsquo;re a big part of what is called the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector, which covers a wide variety of restaurants... so the next time you buy a burger you know where it came from.&rdquo; Jardim also revealed his plans to take the brand to St Vincent. Marketing and PR execs Roger Lyn and Bethany Young gave a sneak peek into their daily duties and also revealed that religion and law, respectively, were their first career options. The students were charged by Lyn to protect their brands. &ldquo;All of you are brands and you have to always remember to sell your brands in the right and best possible way.&rdquo; General Manager Earnest Grant, who trained as a pharmacist at the College of Arts Science & Technology (CAST), now the University of Technology (UTech), spoke to his responsibilities as the company&rsquo;s general manager and how it was important to be affable but to know when to draw the line. <br /> <br /> The discussion was not one-sided as students also chimed in with their successes thus far and their hopes of taking that success to GSAT examinations. There were reality checks, too, as the students spoke of their single wish for Jamaica &mdash; for many it was for a violence-free society in which to grow.<br /> <br /> The discussion took place over a four-course lunch which commenced with a hearty cream of fish and pumpkin soup, perfect for the heavy downpour outside. Salad followed, a fresh bed of crispy lettuce topped with cherry tomatoes, shaved carrots, smoked salmon bits, plantain, croutons and a French dressing.<br /> <br /> The main, Asian glazed Caribbean snapper fillet and roasted rosemary lamb with cheesy sweet corn and potato mash, got rave reviews from the students. Naturally space was left for dessert: warm chocolate bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream<br /> <br /> Iris Gelly Vice Principal Sybil Vidal-Whyne expressed gratitude after lunch, remarking on the close relationship the school has developed with Rainforest Seafoods since the first Applaud It! event some three years ago, &ldquo;On behalf of the Iris Gelly Primary School, we thank the Rainforest Seafoods [team] for their support.This was a unique experience for not only the kids, but us, the teachers. Each year since 2014, we have looked forward to the opportunity and we are very grateful for the experience and the exposure which it provides us and our children.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Smiles and hugs brought yet another lunch to a close.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life takes you around the boardroom table. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13455780/242507_69320_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, November 24, 2016 12:00 AM NCB Applauds Success http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/NCB-Applauds-Success_80882 The first order of business for National Commercial Bank Foundation executives last Thursday afternoon was to host 12 top-achieving business students of Ardenne and Meadowbrook High schools inside the company&rsquo;s boardroom at the Atrium. The executives, who included Thalia Lyn, Nadeen Matthews, Dennis Cohen and Belinda Williams, f&Atilde;&ordf;ted the students with a fine-dining experience catered by award-winning culinary artist Oji Jaja. The occasion marked the fourth sitting of the <br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer<br /> <br /> &rsquo;s third annual Applaud It! initiative &mdash; a week-long luncheon series that provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are, and guide them through social and dining skills.<br /> <br /> The luncheon afforded a comfortable platform for students to get in the minds of the executives and re-evaluate their career paths. <br /> <br /> Chairman Thalia Lyn broke the ice by offering insight: &ldquo;One of the reasons we brought you here today is to prepare you for the real world, so that by the end of the afternoon you&rsquo;re confident enough to go on a breakfast, lunch or dinner interview,&rdquo; she told them.<br /> <br /> The company&rsquo;s Chief Executive Officer Nadeen Matthews then shifted gears by informing guests of the foundation&rsquo;s $1-billion donation to education since its inception in 2003. &ldquo;You are all here on behalf of the NCB Foundation &mdash; the philanthropic arm of the National Commercial Bank. It all started with Michael Lee Chin&rsquo;s vision to ensure that every child in Jamaica attends a tertiary institution, and as beneficiaries of our CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate) programme, we are happy to have you here to further our participation in your journey by helping you to develop your soft skills through a unique avenue such as Applaud It! It&rsquo;s not that we want to [boast] our billion-dollar donations, but it&rsquo;s important that people understand where our passion lies.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Deputy Group Managing Director Dennis Cohen spoke to the importance of verbal and written communication, and explained the value of determination and persistence. &ldquo;There are some parts of your journey that you won&rsquo;t like, but will be mandatory to your next step in life, and sometimes you just have to learn to take a deep breath and persevere,&rdquo; he informed after regaling the students with his personal journey. <br /> <br /> A break in convo allowed Oji Jaja to present his three-course menu &mdash; blackened chicken served with pickled chayote, avocado, crumbled feta cheese, breadfruit crostini, and a blackberry gastrique; smoked lamb chops atop a soft coconut polenta with choy sum, sweet corn and a tomato-basil fondue and dessert tiramisu with a strawberry slice. Each course elegantly styled elicited smiles from all. <br /> <br /> Personal and heartfelt gratitude came from Meadowbrook High School Head of Business Kate Smith-Palmer, who thanked the NCB Foundation for the financial aid they continue to provide for students, disclosing that it was the same foundation that had provided a safety blanket for her during her years in college. Praise was also heaped on the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer for what was described as a useful initiative that many would not have been exposed to. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13455643/241833_69257_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, November 24, 2016 12:00 AM My &lsquo;select&rsquo; tions - Part 2 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/My--select--tions---Part-2_81185 A couple of weeks ago customers, suppliers, business partners and friends celebrated with Select Brands, one of Jamaica&rsquo;s fastest growing wine and spirits importers/distributors. At that event I was challenged by a fellow wine enthusiast to give more wine recommendations on a monthly basis. I looked around on all that was laid out for our sampling pleasure and thought that instead of waiting on the last Thursday of every month to make a recommendation of the month &mdash; why not jumpstart my recommendations right now? <br /> <br /> I dug into my files and found data on what major wine brands Select Brands has added each year since inception in 2011. I looked at each list and thought to myself, based on what I have tasted, which wine would I buy a mixed 12-bottle case for casual drinking? Here are my wine picks for each year and why. Most, if not all, of these wines are still available. While I am an equal opportunity wine drinker and will try almost any wine once, for serious wine drinking I do prefer wines with a bit of body, complexity and sophistication. <br /> <br /> 2011 Mixed Case<br /> <br /> Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel &mdash; I don&rsquo;t think that Zinfandel gets the respect in Jamaica that it should; this wine is juicy, jammy and powerful. If you like drinking Cab, then try a good Zinfandel and this is a great one.<br /> <br /> Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc &mdash; The moment you sip this wine you know it&rsquo;s not the typical crispy Sauvignon Blanc. It has more than usual tropical fruit and citrus notes on the palate delivering a bit more pleasure with each sip. <br /> <br /> 2012 Mixed Case<br /> <br /> Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir &mdash; A crowd-pleaser Pinot Noir. Because of its fruit-forward nature, it is great for party sipping; no long contemplation needed. <br /> <br /> Ruffino Orvieto &mdash; Huh? That&rsquo;s usually the first response when I suggest this wine. I think it&rsquo;s perfect for our weather, especially the hotter months. From Italy, it&rsquo;s a balanced, refreshing, light-bodied white wine . (I will confess that I first selected the round full-bodied juicy Bogle Petite Sirah and zingy, zesty Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc for my 2012 mixed-case choice, but gave the edge to the Mondavi and Orvieto after reviewing what I had bought more of.)<br /> <br /> 2013 Mixed Case<br /> <br /> Zaccagnini Montepulciano d&rsquo;Abruzzo, Italy &mdash; The rustic, earthy, aromatic spicy red wine that can be had over and over without you getting tired of it.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Simi Chardonnay, California &mdash; This is a good option to experience California Chardonnay that does not have too much oak, but is balanced with the right acidity and is fine on its own or with food.<br /> <br /> 2014 Mixed Case &mdash; A Chilean Trio<br /> <br /> Montes Alpha Pinot Noir, Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon and Montes Classic Sauvignon Blanc<br /> <br /> I like Montes wines a lot. It might be because Montes was one of the wines that made me set up and take notice of the world of wine or I might have been biased by my visit to the vineyard and winery in Chile long before it was even available for sale in Jamaica. While Chilean Cabs and Sauvignon Blancs having been making their name, Pinot Noir from Chile is growing slowly in popularity. <br /> <br /> 2015 Mixed case<br /> <br /> Primus &mdash; the Blend &mdash; an excellent Bordeaux blend that delivers great bang for the buck. They have extended the brand and added Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and now Malbec. Somehow I find I keep going back to the original blend.<br /> <br /> Mumm Brut Cordon Rouge Champagne &mdash; Jamaica has most of the top Champagnes available in our market and Mumm has been in and out. This light- to medium-bodied champagne is fresh, crisp, and yeasty.<br /> <br /> 2016 Mixed Case &ndash; Big, Medium & Pink Trio<br /> <br /> Inkblot Tannat &mdash; You might never have heard of Tannat, but don&rsquo;t worry: neither has most of the world. It is the main grape varietal in Uruguay and originally hails from South-west France. If you like big, powerful, juicy, chewy red wines, try this Tannat. But be warned &mdash; it&rsquo;s not for wine wimps!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Meiomi Pinot Noir &mdash; 60,000 cases to 600,000 cases in six years makes a big statement about the popularity of this wine worldwide. When in doubt, pour a Meiomi. Even people who say they don&rsquo;t like Pinot Noir will be ordering it by the case. In most of the wine media the debate suggests that it proves that most wine drinkers &ldquo;talk dry but drink sweet&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Barton & Guestier (B&G) C&ocirc;tes de Provence &mdash; One of my favourite ros&Atilde;&copy; wines of the market. It&rsquo;s simple, refreshing and a great value. <br /> <br /> This week let&rsquo;s Salut! Wine and Champagne.<br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord &mdash; Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13455618/242399_69243_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, November 24, 2016 3:00 AM Rainforest Seafoods applauds Iris Gelly Primary http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Rainforest-Seafoods-Applauds-Iris-Gelly-Primary-------_80947 Christmas came early Friday afternoon last for 15 students of the Iris Gelly Primary School&rsquo;s grades 5 and 6 classes. They made their way along the red carpet to the boardroom, where they found their name cards and individual menus at a festively decorated table. Their hosts were senior executives at Rainforest Seafoods, helmed by CEO Brian Jardim.<br /> <br /> The students were delighted to share with the executives their academic successes, their high schools of choice post-GSAT exams, and their hopes for Jamaica. <br /> <br /> It was the third time hosting the primary school students for the company that has literally adopted them, ensuring hearty snacks are available for their homework centre, water when the school is without and computers for the lab. The luncheon marked yet another sitting of the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s third annual Applaud It! which is a week-long initiative that provides a unique opportunity for Jamaica&rsquo;s corporate pathfinders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through social and dining skills. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13448069/241920_68717_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, November 21, 2016 12:00 AM Tables Twice Turned http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Tables-Twice-Turned-_80591 BORNE out of a desire to position the Caribbean as a culinary hot spot, the progeny of The Rock&rsquo;s Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards, the Table Talk Food Awards &mdash; Cayman Islands Edition, presented by The Best Dressed Chicken, on Thursday, November 10, at The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, has taken root in Cayman. <br /> <br /> With the addition of five new judges, and perfect weather, the event unfolded as planned: the awards ceremony in the ballroom followed by the after-party at the Verandah beach house. Jamaica Broilers Group President and CEO Christopher Levy summed it up perfectly; &ldquo;Doing something once is easy; it&rsquo;s always the second time that&rsquo;s the most challenging.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> The second time was the charm! Careful deliberations complete &mdash; no easy feat with 136 nominees from some 80 restaurants vying for top honours across 16 categories. The judges led by Catherine Guilbard executed perfectly; Avadaugn Sinclair was masterful with her on-the-ground logistics. The Caribbean&rsquo;s most prestigious culinary award ceremony, the Oscar night of food that turns the spotlight on the industry, was set to commence. <br /> <br /> There was trepidation, much was at stake. For the evening&rsquo;s top honorees, renowned restaurateur Clemens Guettler, The Best Dressed Chicken agent William &lsquo;Billy&rsquo; Ashton Reid and Chris Kirkconnell for Kirk Market, the evening will forever be remembered as one at which their peers stood to honour them. &ldquo;This is what makes the Table Talk Food Awards a unique experience,&rdquo; shared its conceptualiser Novia McDonald-Whyte. &ldquo;Industry players salute those who have served the landscape well.&rdquo; SO reckons the hundreds in attendance would concur. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13445757/241247_w300.jpg Food Awards Cayman Sunday, November 20, 2016 3:00 AM Applauding the boys of Allman Town http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Applauding-the-boys-of-Allman-Town_80574 Last Tuesday afternoon, seated inside the Devonshire, Devon House, 12 boys from the top GSAT class at Allman Town Primary received life lessons and gourmet versions of their everyday meals &mdash; catered by The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards recipient of The Chairman&rsquo;s Award and From Yardstyle to Gourmet CEO Jacqui Tyson &mdash; courtesy of Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited executives, President and CEO Donovan Perkins, vice-president Janice Grant Taffe and Mark Chisholm, executive vice-president, individual insurance, Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited. The occasion was the second sitting of the Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s third annual Applaud it! week-long luncheon. The initiative provides a unique opportunity for the country&rsquo;s industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through an inspirational experience that exposes them to social and dining skills.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was happy when I heard that the group of students that we were mentoring for this year&rsquo;s Applaud It!,&ldquo; shared Sagicor exec Mark Chisholm, &ldquo; was going to be boys because, as a lecturer at UWI, I see where the number of boys enrolled in the university is declining. Some years ago UWI was made up of 70% female and 30% male, but now it&rsquo;s about 80% female and 20% male. There is something fundamentally wrong with this and we need to, as a society, get our boys back, and today I&rsquo;m happy to be a part of the Sagicor Group which has done its part in getting back our boys, the top performing boys at the GSAT level at Allman Town Primary School.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> For Sagicor&rsquo;s President & CEO Donovan Perkins, &ldquo;Today&rsquo;s luncheon was a relief for me. It made me realise that the next generation of young men are bright, articulate and eager to learn. The personalities that I was able to witness today show that the boys of tomorrow are not to be left behind. Initiatives such as this are crucial to the development of our future generations and I would like to say thanks to the Jamaica Observer for this wonderful initiative as it&rsquo;s a great way to expose students to experiences that will enhance their way of life.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Around the underwater-themed table &mdash; arranged by Jacqui Tyson&rsquo;s From Thought to Finish &mdash; the afternoon began with a word of prayer from student Damion Harvey who for his efforts was monetarily rewarded by CEO Donovan Perkins.<br /> <br /> It was now time for Chef Tyson to introduce the amuse-bouche, a shot of rich chicken broth served in a demi-tasse. The salad course was followed by an Asian-infused entree complete with a lo mein shrimp medallion perfectly twirled on a fork. Tyson was merely warming up though, and upped the ante with her chicken tender delight &mdash; layers of breaded Best Dressed Chicken breasts and potato wedges drizzled with a cheese and bacon sauce. The boys were impressed and were effusive in their praise. The dessert, however, Tyson&rsquo;s straight-from-the-oven spiced bread pudding with berry compote and a scoop of Devon House vanilla ice-cream proved toothsome judging by the boys&rsquo; empty plates and radiant smiles.<br /> <br /> The students would flash wider smiles as they helped themselves to vanilla-flavoured cupcakes from Sugabuzz and loot bags courtesy of Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited.<br /> <br /> The final word of advice came from Mark Chisholm, who implored the boys to spend the next five months focused on GSAT preparations. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13436076/241122_67715_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Friday, November 18, 2016 12:00 AM VIDEO: NCB Applauds Success http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/NCB-Applauds-Success_80816 The National Commercial Bank Foundation executives Thalia Lyn, chairperson; Nadeen Matthews, CEO; Dennis Cohen, Deputy Group Managing Director; and Belinda Williams, NCB Foundation Manager of Corporate Brand, applauded lustily yesterday afternoon &mdash; inside the boardroom of the National Commercial Bank Atrium &mdash; the top 12 business students of Ardenne and Meadowbrook high schools. This, after hosting them and their teachers at a catered gourmet luncheon courtesy of award-winning culinary artist Oji Jaja and a thorough immersion in the fountain of wisdom of Jamaica&rsquo;s corporate pathfinders. There was a lot to glean! From the bank&rsquo;s close-to-a-billion-dollar injection in education, to the importance of reading, being able to articulate, thinking outside of the proverbial box and applauding the success of others. (See more in next week&rsquo;s Thursday Life). This was yet another uplifting afternoon, the result of the Jamaica Observer<br /> <br /> &rsquo;s fourth successful sitting of the third annual Applaud it! which is a week-long luncheon series that provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through social and dining skills.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13441869/241657_w300.jpg Local Food Friday, November 18, 2016 3:00 AM Applaud It! 2016 Launch http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Applaud-It--2016-Launch_80370 The Jamaica Observer&rsquo;s third annual Applaud it! lunch series is back! The first sitting took place on Sunday afternoon in the company&rsquo;s boardroom and was hosted by members of the newspaper&rsquo;s executive and the Best Dressed Chicken team. For this year&rsquo;s initiative 20 children &mdash; whose parents are all employed to the Jamaica Observer &mdash; enjoyed a four-course meal by award-winning caterer Michele Williams. Applaud It! is a week-long initiative that provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are at and guide them through an awesome experience that exposes them to social and dining skills. <br /> <br /> The boardroom was beautifully adorned with vases of white orchids courtesy of Ann-Marie Wyss, while MC D&eacute;cor&rsquo;s elegant placemat setting befitted the afternoon&rsquo;s learning experience. <br /> <br /> To introduce the afternoon&rsquo;s meal was Williams herself, who began with the presentation of the soup course &mdash; cream of pumpkin topped with roasted corn. &ldquo;Today we wanted to create something that is not only very appealing to the eyes but also healthy for you,&rdquo; she said. Williams then presented the salad course &mdash; mixed greens with peaches, beets and feta with roasted tomato vinaigrette. She explained to the children the importance of balance on the plate, expounding on the use of feta cheese to offset the sweetness of the roasted beetroot. Nine-year-old student of Pembroke Hall Primary School Kareem Myrie at this point interjected. He shared with the room his aversion to eating greens but being pleasantly surprised when he actually decided to give Williams&rsquo;s salad a chance. <br /> <br /> The entr&eacute;e would follow &mdash; honey maple-glazed barbecued strips of Best Dressed Chicken with sides of sweet potato mash and grilled garden vegetables in a balsamic glaze which was described by Williams as &ldquo;home comfort food&rdquo;. The highly-anticipated dessert course followed with a triple chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache &mdash; the children&rsquo;s favourite. <br /> <br /> Dining was interspersed with etiquette lessons for the children by Jamaica Observer Senior Associate Editor &mdash; Lifestyle & Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte, who underscored the observation of such social mores as the correct positioning of silverware, the proper use of the dessert spoon and fork and the appropriate placement of napkins. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13438996/240871_67878_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, November 17, 2016 12:00 AM Catch Ah Fire, Run Ah Boat! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Catch-Ah-Fire--Run-Ah-Boat_80477 On the eve of the second annual Table Talk Food Awards &ndash; The Cayman Islands Edition, presented by the Best Dressed Chicken, The Jamaica Broilers Group President and CEO Christopher Levy hosted a private dinner at the multi-award-winning Catch Restaurant & Lounge &mdash; an ocean-front al fresco nook in West Bay, Cayman Islands, which specialises in surf and turf.<br /> <br /> With the arrival of guests came good humour and bonhomie as the two-pronged dinner party served to introduce the 2016 Cayman Food Awards judges to the fold, and feature the culinary skills of the award-winning chef Jon Herzog &mdash; who copped the Chef of the Year title. The Catch Restaurant & Lounge also got the nod for the 2016 Restaurant of the Year and Best Ambience.<br /> <br /> The &agrave; la carte affair featured a selection of Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from vineyards in Italy, California, France, and Marlborough, New Zealand. For the amuse-bouche guests enjoyed a snow crab clove courtesy of Caribbean Gourmet Food & Catering Limited proprietor and Cayman Food Awards judge Stephen Trench. Appetisers included a colourful braised-jerk-oxtail-stuffed ravioli with a creamy butterbean pur&eacute;e and tomato pepper jam, and the scrumptious tuna and wahoo tartare made with diced local tuna and wahoo tossed in a seaweed salad with avocado and sesame soy dressing served with wonton chips &mdash; crunch and salty. The salads were most colourful and vibrant, representing a Caribbean taste with specialty dressings like the carrot-ginger-orange vinaigrette, the earthy beet vinaigrette, or its lemon thyme season pepper alternative. <br /> <br /> Main options &ldquo;From The Sea&rdquo; ranged from the sweet and spicy snapper and shrimp Cayman style &mdash; roasted local red snapper and jumbo shrimp in a pepper and onion sauce served with coconut rice and saut&eacute;ed vegetables &mdash; to the sumptuous seafood pasta: linguine with shrimp, scallops, mussels, lobster, fresh fish and crab in a tomato saffron sauce. &ldquo;From The Land&rdquo; offerings included the 16 oz Angus ribeye, the 8oz Angus beef fillet, and the Harissa-crusted rack of lamb &mdash; medium rare rack of lamb with a couscous salad of cucumber, tomato, herbs and housemade Merguez sausage.<br /> <br /> Naturally there were desserts from raspberry cr&egrave;me br&ucirc;l&eacute;e to the melt-in-your-mouth blueberry bread pudding with a surprise mango sauce, and the coconut cr&egrave;me pie.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life&rsquo;s napkin is spread.<br /> <br /> (Photos: Garfield Robinson)<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13438676/241018_67956_repro_w300.jpg Food Awards Cayman Thursday, November 17, 2016 12:00 AM A Sixth Taste of Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Sixth-Taste-of-Jamaica-_80584 The sixth staging of the HEART Trust/ NTA Taste of Jamaica Culinary Competition could arguably be described as the best one yet, with 19 competition categories attracting scores of participants and showcasing some of the best of Jamaica&rsquo;s young and emerging talent. <br /> <br /> The fierce two days of competition took place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on November 12 and 13. <br /> <br /> Junior chefs and students from various hotels, universities and institutions competed for cash prizes and bragging rights in categories such as the coveted Chef of the Year, Junior Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year and Junior Pastry Chef of the Year.<br /> <br /> The event also featured a Canadian migration seminar and several informative culinary seminars backed by a &lsquo;powerhouse&rsquo; resource panel that included Certified Master Chef (CMC) Alfonso Contrisciani, director of culinary operations, Hocking College, USA; Chef Kathryn McGushin, CEO, department chair, School of Hospitality, Hocking College, USA; Chef Selwyn Wickham, president, Central School of Hospitality, Trinidad; and Hersia Sewell, career officer, Northwest TVET Institute, Falmouth Campus. <br /> <br /> The event also featured a Yellow Pages Street Food Village with booths manned by Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards &mdash; Chairman&rsquo;s Award recipients Stush in the Bush and Sky Beach, as well as booths from Walkerswood, Reggae Jammin and Simone Walker-Barrett of Street Food Saturdays inside the Best Dressed Eats booth. Offerings included vegetarian dishes, curried shrimp, steamed roast fish, jerk chicken and pork and guava glazed pig&rsquo;s tail.<br /> <br /> Chef Dennis McIntosh, president of the Culinary Federation of Jamaica, expressed satisfaction with the growth of the competition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have been able to bring to the fore and showcase some of Jamaica&rsquo;s best culinary talent and this competition continues to provide them with an outlet and the opportunity to compete and hone their skills,&rdquo; McIntosh stated.<br /> <br /> Fruit & Vegetables Carving<br /> <br /> Phylene Milwood &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel<br /> <br /> Chris-Ann Hall &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> Thedore Lyn &ndash; Silver &ndash; Courtleigh Hotel <br /> <br /> Third Place: Dwayne Johnson &ndash; Gold &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus <br /> <br /> Second Place: Oshane Powell &ndash; Gold &ndash; Hedonism II<br /> <br /> First Place: Christopher Hobson &ndash; Gold &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Butchery Competition <br /> <br /> Nikal Stenneth &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Omar Thompson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Sandals Negril<br /> <br /> Third Place: Dwayne Lamont &ndash; Silver &ndash; Courtyard by Marriott<br /> <br /> Second Place: David Wellington &ndash; Gold &ndash; Courtyard by Marriott <br /> <br /> First Place: Khalil Campbell &ndash; Gold &ndash; University of Technology <br /> <br /> Show Piece Competition<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Second Place &ndash; Christopher Hobson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> First Place &ndash; Dwayne Johnson &ndash; Gold &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> CPJ Beef Competition<br /> <br /> Nikal Stennett &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus Sudar Rose &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Secrets Wild Orchid<br /> <br /> Kemoy Kentish &ndash; Bronze &ndash; University of Technology<br /> <br /> Jermaine Barrett &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn <br /> <br /> Romario Bartley &ndash; Silver &ndash; Heart College of Hospitality Services<br /> <br /> Kimmoy Farquharson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus <br /> <br /> Garfield Seivewright &ndash; Silver &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC<br /> <br /> Gayon Scott &ndash; Silver &ndash; Secrets Wild Orchid<br /> <br /> Nikita Dawes &ndash; Silver &ndash; Grand Palladium <br /> <br /> Fourth Place: Sholandra Frazer &ndash; Silver &ndash; Frazer&rsquo;s Hospitality Supplies<br /> <br /> Third Place: Glenford Smith &ndash; Silver <br /> <br /> Second Place: Kenoy Williams &ndash; Gold &ndash; Rock House<br /> <br /> First Place: Odane Whitelocke &ndash; Gold &ndash; Hedonism II <br /> <br /> Rainforest Seafoods Competition<br /> <br /> Jason Lawrence &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium <br /> <br /> Fitzroy Ford &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Granville Vocational Training Centre<br /> <br /> La Shawn Gardner &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Rockhouse Hotel<br /> <br /> Oshane Salmon &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Sandals Negril<br /> <br /> Akai Lindsay &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Knutsford Court Hotel<br /> <br /> Darren Luke &ndash; Bronze &ndash; GoldenEye<br /> <br /> Third Place: Shanika Clarke &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Second Place: Sholandra Frazer &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Frazer&rsquo;s Hospitality Supplies<br /> <br /> First Place: Samoya Morgan &ndash; Silver &ndash; Beaches Boscobel<br /> <br /> Chas E Ramson Lamb Competition<br /> <br /> Odayne James &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium<br /> <br /> Shane James &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Sandals MoBay<br /> <br /> Michael Thomas &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus <br /> <br /> Andre Sanchez &ndash; Silver &ndash; Couples Sans Souci<br /> <br /> Third Place: Milton Paltie &ndash; Silver &ndash; Hedonism II<br /> <br /> Second Place: Lemar Carter &ndash; Silver &ndash; Beaches Boscobel<br /> <br /> First Place: Vivian Hinds &ndash; Gold &ndash; Beaches Boscobel<br /> <br /> Copperwood Pork Competition<br /> <br /> Ramone Tulloch &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Heart College of Hospitality Services<br /> <br /> Maurice Chisolm &ndash; Silver &ndash; Northwest TVET<br /> <br /> Turay Taylor &ndash; Silver &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC<br /> <br /> Demar McKenize &ndash; Silver &ndash; Sandals Negril<br /> <br /> Shanique Martin &ndash; Silver &ndash; University of Technology<br /> <br /> Lottifa Byro &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Javaune Duffus &ndash; Silver &ndash; Beaches Boscobel<br /> <br /> Javohn Becford &ndash; Silver &ndash; Secret Wild Orchid<br /> <br /> Damion Gordon &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Jermain Aarons &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> Shanika Clarke &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Third Place: Megan Robinson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Grand Palladium<br /> <br /> Second Place: Dermaine Barrett &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> First Place: Dwayne Lamont &ndash; Gold &ndash; Courtyard by Marriott <br /> <br /> Best Dressed Chicken Competition<br /> <br /> Shakeem White-Euter &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Heart College of Hospitality Services (Runaway Bay)<br /> <br /> Samantha Foster &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Secrets Wild Orchid <br /> <br /> Josiah Laing &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC <br /> <br /> Christopher Innis &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Rock House <br /> <br /> Trevin Pryce &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Sandals Negril<br /> <br /> Cascine Crew &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn <br /> <br /> Sheldon Barnett &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Jossett Dillon &ndash; Silver &ndash; Grand Palladium<br /> <br /> Third Place: Jamique Mair &ndash; Silver &ndash; Knutsford Court Hotel<br /> <br /> Second Place: Sholandra Frazer &ndash; Silver &ndash; Frazer&rsquo;s Hospitality Supplies<br /> <br /> First Place: Khalil Campbell &ndash; University of Technology<br /> <br /> Anchor Cheesecake Competition<br /> <br /> Fourth Place: Dexter Singh &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Third Place: Alecia Baker-Wray &ndash; Silver &ndash; Sandals MoBay<br /> <br /> Second Place: Travis Davis &ndash; Silver &ndash; Hedonism II<br /> <br /> First Place: Amelia Baker &ndash; Bacchas &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Cr&Atilde;&uml;me Br&Atilde;&raquo;l&Atilde;&copy;e Competition <br /> <br /> Second Place &ndash; Dexter Singh &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> First Place &ndash; Michael Ellis &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Wedding and Celebration Cakes<br /> <br /> Fourth Place: Jason Nanan &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Leap Centre<br /> <br /> Third Place: Jowayne Crooks &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Granville Vocational Training Centre <br /> <br /> Second Place: Michael Ellis &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus <br /> <br /> First Place: Sue-Ann Lee &ndash; Gold &ndash; Heart College of Hospitality Services (Runaway Bay)<br /> <br /> Traditional Punch<br /> <br /> Ryan Bernard &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Kenilworth HEART Academy<br /> <br /> Monique Morgridge &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Falmouth VTC<br /> <br /> Third Place: Jamique Mair &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Knustford Court Hotel<br /> <br /> Second Place: Demarco Robinson &ndash; Silver &ndash; South West TVET <br /> <br /> First Place: Collinton Simpson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Buff Bay VTC<br /> <br /> Bartending Competition<br /> <br /> &ndash; Non-Alcoholic<br /> <br /> David Phillips &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Holiday Inn <br /> <br /> Dandre Dockery &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Sandals MoBay <br /> <br /> John Samuels &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium <br /> <br /> Navardo Haye &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Hedonism II <br /> <br /> Gossett Brown &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Rock House <br /> <br /> Denaish Campbell &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium<br /> <br /> Richard Marner &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> Dwayne Barrett &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Third Place: Roy Lawrence &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium<br /> <br /> second Place: Ashinen Simpson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC<br /> <br /> First Place: Kemoya Livingston &ndash; Gold &ndash; Rock House <br /> <br /> &ndash; Rum<br /> <br /> Dandre Dockery &ndash; Sandals MoBay <br /> <br /> Richard Marner &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Holiday Inn <br /> <br /> Denaish Campbell &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium <br /> <br /> Third Place: Kemoya Livingston &ndash; Silver &ndash; Rock House<br /> <br /> Second Place: Gossett Brown &ndash; Gold &ndash; Rock House <br /> <br /> First Place: Anecka Trusty &ndash; Gold &ndash; Couples Sans Souci<br /> <br /> &ndash; Culinary Cocktail (Vodka)<br /> <br /> Ryan Bernard &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Northwest TVET<br /> <br /> John Samuels &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium <br /> <br /> Dandre Dockery &ndash; Silver &ndash; Sandals MoBay <br /> <br /> Anecka Trusty &ndash; Silver &ndash; Rock House<br /> <br /> Denaish Campbell &ndash; Silver &ndash; Grand Palladium <br /> <br /> Navardo Haye &ndash; Silver &ndash; Hedonism II<br /> <br /> Ashinen Simpson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC<br /> <br /> Kemoya Livingston &ndash; Silver &ndash; Rock House<br /> <br /> Third Place: Richard Merner &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> Second Place: Dwayne Barrett &ndash; Gold &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> First Place: Gossett Brown &ndash; Gold &ndash; Rock House<br /> <br /> Bartender of the Year :<br /> <br /> Navardo Haye &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Hedonism II<br /> <br /> Ashinen Simpson &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC<br /> <br /> Dandre Dockery &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Sandals MoBay<br /> <br /> Dewayne Barrett &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Aeicka Trusty &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Couples Sans Souci <br /> <br /> Denaish Campbell &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium<br /> <br /> Third Place: Richard Marner &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> Second Place: Gossett Brown &ndash; Silver &ndash; Rock House <br /> <br /> First Place: Kemoya Livingston &ndash; Gold &ndash; Rock House <br /> <br /> Bartender of the Year &ndash; Kemoya Livingston<br /> <br /> Ice Carving Competition<br /> <br /> Second Place: Christopher Hudson &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus <br /> <br /> First Place: Milton Paltie &ndash; Gold &ndash; Hedonism II<br /> <br /> Show Pieces Competition<br /> <br /> Second Place: Christopher Hobson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> First Place: Dwayne Johnson &ndash; Gold &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Junior Apprentice Chef of the Year<br /> <br /> Ricardo Wellington &ndash; Bronze &ndash; South West TVET<br /> <br /> Mathew Bancroft &ndash; Silver &ndash; Heart College of Hospitality Services (Runaway Bay)<br /> <br /> Third Place: Stephan Farquharson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Second Place: Torey Grant &ndash; Silver &ndash; Buff Bay VTC<br /> <br /> First Place: Shaniel Laing &ndash; Silver &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC<br /> <br /> Junior Apprentice Chef of the Year: Shaniel Laing<br /> <br /> Anchor Cream Cheese Junior Pastry Chef Of The Year<br /> <br /> Whittney Campbell &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Northwest TVET <br /> <br /> Brittney Thomas &ndash; Silver &ndash; Heart College of Hospitality Services (Runaway Bay)<br /> <br /> Junior Pastry Chef of the Year: Brittney Thomas <br /> <br /> Junior Chef of the Year<br /> <br /> Dwight Johnson &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Boys&rsquo; Town VTC<br /> <br /> Dennis Tummings &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Montego Bay Community College <br /> <br /> Claude Bucknall &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Heart College of Hospitality Services (Runaway Bay) <br /> <br /> Remoy Dunn &ndash; Silver &ndash; Sandals Negril <br /> <br /> Akai Lindsay &ndash; Silver &ndash; Knutsford Court Hotel <br /> <br /> Andre Garrick &ndash; Silver &ndash; Trident Hotel<br /> <br /> Kelse-Ann Watson &ndash; Silver &ndash; University of Techology<br /> <br /> Third Place: Ashanie Wilson &ndash; Silver &ndash; Couples Sans Souci<br /> <br /> Second Place: Henry Rose &ndash; Silver &ndash; Secrets Wild Orchid <br /> <br /> First Place: Oshane Powell &ndash; Gold &ndash; Hedonism II<br /> <br /> Junior Chef of the Year: Oshane Powell<br /> <br /> Tertiary/Vocational Team Competition<br /> <br /> Ebony Park Academy &ndash; Bronze<br /> <br /> Buff Bay VTC &ndash; Silver<br /> <br /> Third Place: Northwest TVET &ndash; Silver<br /> <br /> Second Place: Boys&rsquo; Town VTC &ndash; Silver <br /> <br /> First Place: Heart College of Hospitality Services (Runaway Bay) &ndash; Gold &ndash; Tertiary/Vocational Team of the Year<br /> <br /> Senior Team Competition <br /> <br /> Third Place: Sandals MoBay &ndash; Silver <br /> <br /> Second Place: Moon Palace &ndash; Silver<br /> <br /> First Place: Jamaica Pegasus &ndash; Gold <br /> <br /> Elle & Vire Senior Pastry Chef of the Year<br /> <br /> Fitzory Black &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Grand Palladium <br /> <br /> Amelia Baker-Bacchas &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Third Place: Dexter Singh &ndash; Silver &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> First Place: Alecia Baker-Wray &ndash; Gold &ndash; Sandals MoBay<br /> <br /> First Place: Oneil Anglin &ndash; Gold &ndash; Sandals Negril<br /> <br /> Pastry Chef of the Year: Alecia Baker-Wray & Oneil Anglin<br /> <br /> Chef of the Year Semi-Finals <br /> <br /> Tameka Robinson &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jewels Paradise Cove<br /> <br /> Darren Luke &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> Michael Barnett &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Hedonism<br /> <br /> Richard Pinnock &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus<br /> <br /> Dwayne Lamont &ndash; Silver &ndash; Courtyard by Marriott<br /> <br /> Shy-Ann Jones &ndash; Silver &ndash; Holiday Inn<br /> <br /> Final <br /> <br /> Third Place &ndash; Michael Thomas &ndash; Bronze &ndash; Jamaica Pegasus <br /> <br /> Second Place &ndash; David Wellington &ndash; Silver &ndash; Courtyard by Marriott<br /> <br /> First Place &ndash; Ricardo Allen &ndash; Gold &ndash; Trident Hotel<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Chef of the Year: Ricardo Allen<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13438880/241219_67835_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, November 17, 2016 3:00 AM Applauding the Harbour View Football Club http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Applauding-the-Harbour-View-Football-Club_80662 NO goals were scored yesterday afternoon by the Harbour View Football Club&rsquo;s under-15 and under-13 teams inside the boardroom at the Jamaica Public Service corporate offices. There were, however, goals of another kind &mdash; life lessons imparted by the company&rsquo;s President & CEO Kelly Tomblin at the third staging of Applaud It! The 17 ballers along with the clubs&rsquo; five executives enjoyed a three-course gourmet lunch by award-winning culinary artist Oji Jaja, a conversation with nutritionist Joy Calendar and watched earnestly as Martina Christian of Clean Treats created nutritious smoothies which were poured into JPS Mason jars. <br /> <br /> Applaud it! is a week-long luncheon series that provides an opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are and guide them through a unique experience that exposes them to social and dining skills. The luncheon was, too, the perfect opportunity to salute the teams&rsquo; achievements in securing their 53rd and 54th championship trophies. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13438842/241416_67990_repro_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, November 17, 2016 12:00 AM